Gov. Deval Patrick squared off against Robert DeLeo yesterday in the first round of what promises to be a bruising battle, pitting the new House speaker’s proposed 1.5-cent hike in the sales tax vs. the governor’s proposed boosts on the booze, sweets and gas levies.
A feisty Patrick demanded lawmakers take up his so-called sin taxes on alcohol and candy yesterday, while jabbing at DeLeo’s plan, saying it would promote the “status quo.”
Patrick stopped short of saying he would veto a budget with a sales tax hike, but one Beacon Hill source said administrative officials indicated he would do so in talks with DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) in the past week.
House Ways and Means Chair Charlie Murphy (D-Burlington) said an income tax increase was off the table, and he considered a 2 percent hike in the sales tax too high. All other proposals were up for debate, he said.